"She that hath wit may shift anywhere": Women and Wit in Thomas Middleton's 'A Mad World', 'My Masters' and 'No Wit No Help Like A Woman's'

Adrianna Nycz, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa, Université D'Ottawa / University Of Ottawa
This thesis considers Thomas Middleton's female trickster figures using A Mad World, My Masters, and No Wit No Help Like a Woman's as example plays. I argue that by having his female characters successfully live by their wits, using their wit to manipulate custom in their intrigues, Middleton allots his women, who are not formally educated, a sophisticated understanding of social and gender politics. This level of understanding requires the women to possess a substantial amount of inherent
more » ... ligence and reason, offering a view of women's capacity for intelligence that diverges considerably from traditional early modern English views.
doi:10.20381/ruor-4686 fatcat:tlq6f5nwwzegvjnq7esbl5qrh4